Former Liverpool striker Erik Meijer has suggested that Jurgen Klopp’s huge demands of his players are one of the reasons why so many of his squad are getting injured.
The Reds have had a torrid time of it with regards to fitness in the current campaign, with key players such as Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Thiago Alcantara and Trent Alexander-Arnold all suffering long-term issues.
James Milner is the latest casualty after he was substituted with a hamstring problem during the 1-1 draw with Brighton at the weekend, and Klopp’s side are almost at breaking point.
The German manager has been vocal in his criticism of the short time between games and the Premier League only allowing three substitutes, and believes they are the key contributing factors to his side’s woes.
But speaking to De Telegraaf Meijer, who played at Anfield between 1999-2001, stated his belief that Klopp’s style of play is another key element.
“It’s all not quite right at Liverpool at the moment after two fantastic years,” he said.
“Apart from the absentees, that also has to do with the enormous burden the team has had to cope with.
“Klopp’s way of playing requires a lot from a player group and it’s a murderous programme that a team like Liverpool has to go through.”
Meijer also said Joel Matip is not the man to fill the gap in defence left by Van Dijk, and worries about them at the back going forward.
“It’s all not as convincing and stable as last year,” he added.
“That has a lot to do with Virgil van Dijk’s absence. Klopp now chooses young boys at the back and expects Joel Matip to lead the defence.
“But he was always Van Dijk’s assistant. Then you can’t suddenly start playing the leader. That doesn’t work.”